The last time we had been to The House of Nightmares was during their first year of operation at the old Bloody Brewery Building in Downtown Columbus. It was a decent haunt, but not anywhere close to what we had experienced when it was in Mount Vernon. Fast forward a couple years later and now The House of Nightmares is called The Terror Fest and has Steve kopleman of Thrillvania in Terrell Texas helping out with marketing. It’s helped big time. This is a drastically different haunt to say the least.
Length-9: The Terror Fest is divided into two sections. The first half is called The House of Nightmares. After you are done with The House of Nightmares you will venture into what they call Brewery Butcher. Both sections compliment each other and your experience will last between 20-25 minutes with very few spots where you are wondering what will happen next.
Design-9: The only thing I can say is wow. This is a very elaborate haunt with a couple scenes I haven’t seen before, but I won’t dare give away the surprises. The Terror Fest is reminiscent of an old fashion haunted mansion with some very innovative scenes. Rooms include a hallway with rooms made of mirrors, a scene with walls covered with skulls, a haunted forest, a jungle and much more to please your sick and twisted mind.
There are some standout scenes such as the forest that has you walking over a realistic bridge when suddenly it drops with great force. Another impressive room has you walking over plexiglas where you are able to look down below. This creates an effect where you feel like you are about to fall to your death. This scene could be more effective if it was longer and wider. The use of better lighting and fog underneath the glass may also help make it look as if nothing is really there. It’s still a unique effect that will have some people freaking out. Overall there have been some huge improvements in design at The House of Nightmares or should I say The Terror Fest.
Many of the details in scenes are really vibrant because of mini spotlights. Mini spotlights are small led spotlights that can be easily hidden in scenes and use very little electricity. The colors are incredible and these unique lights make scenes come to life.
Props/Animatronics-9: The Terror Fest is full of impressive eye candy. Many of the props and effects you won’t see anywhere else in Ohio. These include CGI effects and the most impressive being the ghostly librarian from Halloween Productions. You’ll even encounter a Ghostly Bust made by Night Frights and one of the most unique vortex tunnels we’ve ever seen. You’ll have to visit The Terror Fest to experience it yourself. There are many props that you will experience at other haunts, but are done to perfection at The Terror Fest. These include falling book cases, rising corpses, a falling bridge, lit chandeliers and a variety of effects and props. I was quite impressed how the different decorations were incorporated into rooms and made perfect sense. The only negative I found with the decor was that the same red candle chandeliers were used over and over in some scenes.
Acting-9: The characters at The Terror Fest are covered with detailed makeup, prosthetics and wear elaborate costumes. They are always in character, but if there is a large group they can’t scare people as well as they could. The majority of actors you’ll encounter recite lines and intimidate instead of jumping out at you when you least expect them. If this problem was fixed the actors would be close to perfection.
Scare Effect-9: This is a scary haunt because of the way it’s designed. There are many different themed areas, but overall it has a haunted mansion feel to it. The actors are relentless, there are some startling effects that may freak you out and it’s just a great quality haunt with incredible production value.
Customer Service: When we arrived the sign said The House of Nightmares, but the event is The Terror Fest. This may confuse new customers who’ve never been to The House of Nightmares and are expecting The Terror Fest. The Parking was a bit high at $5, but once inside the haunt the staff is as friendly as can be. There is plenty of food and refreshments available at reasonable prices. So if you are hungry or thirsty make sure to grab a bite to eat or something cold and refreshing to drink.
Fright Value: $17 is a bit high for a haunt, but this seems to be close to the going rate for haunts in the Columbus area. Unfortunately the parking is $5 which is the highest I’ve ever come across for a haunt with the exception of theme park attractions. Please make sure and find a parking spot that is within a reasonable distance of The Terror Fest so you won’t have to pay that high parking price.
Final Stab-9:0: I am shocked how this haunt has improved since I visited The House of Nightmares. There are new rooms, props, effects and it’s now called The Terror Fest. This is a very high quality haunt and deserves being rated as one of America’s best haunts at www.americasbesthaunts.com. Take a trip out to Columbus, OH for a terrifying tour into darkness at The Terror Fest.